Pear Zucchini Bread with Cherry Pie Topping
A bag of rapidly over-ripening pears and the beginning of zucchini season’s bounty inspired this dessert. The amounts are large, and approximate, so feel free to wiggle the numbers to your liking. Serve a slice of bread topped with the cherries and some vanilla ice cream for a delicious, healthy dessert!
Pear Zucchini Bread
4 c. chopped, peeled ripe pears (equivalent to 1 bag)
5 c. shredded zucchini
3 c. sugar
3-4 T. molasses
3 T. vanilla extract
1/2 c. oil
6 c. white flour
3 c. whole wheat flour
2 t. salt
2 T. baking soda
2-3 T. baking powder
~1 T. cinnamon
2 t. ground cloves
2 t. nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter 4 loaf pans. Mix all the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another, large bowl. Make a “well” in the flour mix and pour the wet stuff in. Mix gently just until everything is wet. Pour into the prepared loaf pans and bake 60-90 minutes (timing would vary considerably for different types of pans, just keep an eye on it and do the clean knife test when it looks done).
Makes 4 loaves.
Cherry Pie Topping
Note: You could just as easily use this to make a cherry pie, which is what I had originally planned to do.
~3 c. pitted cherries (sweet or sour)
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. chopped rhubarb (optional but reduce sugar if you leave out)
~3 T. cornstarch (as much as is needed to thicken properly)
Mix everything except cornstarch in a pot. Bring to a boil and cook, mashing cherries as needed, until fruit has softened. Add cornstarch separately to a small amount of juice, then blend into the rest of the cooking fruit. Boil until mixture has thickened appropriately. Serve warm or cold on top of bread, or use as a pie filling.
Yields 2+ c. cherry topping